It can be discouraging to set big resolutions and fall short. Unfortunately, this outcome is particularly common with health and wellness goals, as they’re often restrictive and unsustainable. You may even make the same resolutions year after year, breaking them within the first few weeks each time.
If you’re ready for a healthier you in 2023, let’s focus on New Year’s goals that you can actually keep.
Here are five ways to be healthier today that will benefit you for a lifetime.
1. Incorporate more whole foods into your diet.
Did you know research shows that a whole-foods-based diet may reduce heart disease risk factors, body weight, and blood sugar levels? It can also decrease your risk of diseases, like type 2 diabetes. Adjust your diet slowly so you can stay consistent with your changes. For instance, if you’re not used to eating vegetables or fruit, start by adding one serving to your meal plan every day. Other whole foods included nuts, seeds, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins, like chicken or fish.
An easy way to keep this resolution? Prepare your meals at home more often! Here’s some inspiration for healthy cooking.
2. Sit less.
Whether you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk for eight hours each day or you just live an inactive life, you may be sitting more than you should. It can have negative effects on your life, including being linked to an increased risk of overall mortality. Make a resolution to sit less and tailor it to your lifestyle. Try to go on a 15-minute walk at lunch or even a quick 5-minute walk around the office every hour.
3. Find exercise that feels good to you.
If you want to improve your fitness habits in the New Year, don’t assume that an expensive gym membership is the right fit. Instead, choose an activity that makes you happy and works well with your schedule. Do you prefer a morning swim or an evening walk? Would an at-home exercise bike or set of weights be motivating for you? Once you pick an activity, make a sustainable plan (i.e. 30 minutes a day, three days per week) and build on that goal throughout the year.
4. Focus on the quantity and quality of your sleep.
Do you have a sleep routine that ensures seven to eight hours of sleep each night? If not, it’s time to adopt one! You can improve your sleep quantity and quality with some simple steps:
- Decrease screen time before bed.
- Dim the lights in your house after the sun sets.
- Pay attention to your caffeine intake.
- Go to bed at a reasonable time.
Remember that sleep deprivation can lead to serious health consequences, including weight gain, depression, and an increased risk of heart disease. Sweet dreams!
5. Spend more time outside.
Fresh air and sunshine have lasting benefits, including relieving stress, boosting your mood, and even lowering your blood pressure. Make an effort to incorporate nature into your daily routine with a morning walk around the neighborhood, an afternoon trip to the playground, or a weekend hike.
Here’s to a fresh start and a healthier you in 2023. Happy New Year from Platinum Primary Care!